The daughter of a former British military officer, Virginia Gilmore first appeared in amateur theatre in her native El Monte, California, made her professional bow in San Francisco at 15, then studied acting in California and Vienna. She made her first film, Winter Carnival, for producer Walter Wanger in 1939. This led to a contract at 20th Century-Fox, where she was starred in such major and minor efforts as Jennie (1940), Swamp Water (1941), Berlin Correspondent (1942) and Orchestra Wives (1943). It was only after completing her Fox responsibilities that Gilmore made her Broadway bow in 1943's Those Endearing Young Charms. From 1944 through 1960, Gilmore was the wife of actor Yul Brynner, with whom she co-starred in the local New York TV variety series We're On. After dozens of TV appearances in the 1950s, Gilmore's career was compromised by emotional reverses and a drinking problem. In the 1960s, a recovering Virginia Gilmore was one of the leading spokespersons of Alcoholics Anonymous and also taught acting classes at Yale University.